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The American Baking Competition ReviewThe summer is here and the regular shows are off the air.   I have to be honest but I love some of the summer shows on TV and look forward to summer TV.   My favorite show is Big Brother on CBS and I am counting down the days for the premiere!  More on Big Brother coming soon 🙂

Anyway, I saw the ads for The American Baking Competition airing on CBS and since I have started baking more in the last 18 months (due to my sons allergies), I decided to watch.   So here is my review.

The show is built around the premise of gathering 10 amateur bakers and tasking them with tackling three recipes per week: A “signature” dish they make at home for friends and family; a “technical” bake in which they receive ingredients and vague instructions (would hate that)— then have to rely on their own baking know-how; and a “showstopper” — where presentation is important alongside flavor.

I didn’t feel the show displayed the food the bakers made long enough for us to look at and say, “That looks amazing and would love to taste it”.   There are 10 bakers and they each bake 3 recipes plus the show is only 60 minutes so that does not give enough time to display the food which is why I watched in the first place.

Each week someone will get kicked off the show and someone will be the Top Baker of the week.   Carlos, the Italian from Connecticut did not make the cut and was kicked off.  Francine, the southern girl, was probably one of my favorites on the show and she won Top Baker of the week.

Hopefully, as the show continues they will show more of the food that is baked and maybe we can get to know the bakers a little better too.  I would love to hear why they started cooking and baking.  Do they create their own recipes?  How often do they bake?  So many questions to be answered and hopefully the show will do that for us.

What did you think of the show and will you watch again?  Do you hope they show more food the bakers make?  Who was your favorite baker?  Until next week…Happy baking!

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Tuesday Cook Off ~ White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies

Tuesday Cook Off ~ White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies

Have you ever tried the cookies at Subway?   My boys just love Subway and I would much rather get them Subway when we are in a rush than any other fast food place.  So a couple of months ago I was getting my boys Subway and they were stocking their cookies. I noticed they had a White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie; I had to try it!  Well, it was delicious.   Ever since then I have been looking for a recipe similar to the Subway cookie.   I think I have found it!!

The recipe calls for using Jiffy Raspberry muffin mix.  When my husband heard this, he was in!  Yes, I am serious.  Most people would be like really Jiffy the 99-cent muffin mix.  Where as my husband loves Jiffy…really.  In fact, it’s a big joke in the house every time I make muffins.  He always says, “Please tell me you are making my favorite…from the Jiffy box”.

Anyway, this recipe is very easy to make and I hope you enjoy them!!  They also freeze well.

Recipe from : Bakergirl

Yields about 3 dozen cookies depending on size

2 (7-ounce) boxes Jiffy raspberry muffin mix
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 tablespoons butter-flavored shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, butter, shortening, and brown sugar, until just combined.   Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the muffin mix and using a wooden spoon, mix until incorporated. Stir in the white chocolate chips and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease baking sheets and roll dough into tablespoon-size balls. Place 2-inches apart on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until just turning golden around the edges.  Each oven will vary in time.   Mine baked about 9:30 minutesCool five minutes on baking sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, at My Baby Pajamas.

Claesen's Paisley Girl Boxers 2 Pack

Claesen’s Paisley Girl Boxers 2 Pack

My Baby Pajamas has received a shipment of Claesen’s.   Online now is the Claesen’s Paisley Cami for Girls, the Claesen’s Paisley Girl Boxers 2 Pack and the Claesen’s Paisley Girl Briefs 2 Pack.

If you have not tried Claesen’s you really are missing out.   Claesen’s are my sons favorite underwear.   They hang out around the house in them and they sleep just in them 🙂

Founded in Amsterdam in 1994, Claesen’s is now the best-selling underwear brand in Holland for men, women, children, and babies.  The philosophy behind the styling is “like mother, like daughter; like father, like son”, and we achieve our comfortable second skin fit with top-quality cottons and cotton-lycra fabrics, trademarked patterns, and durable flat-lock seaming.

Claesen's Paisley Girl Briefs 2 Pack

Claesen’s Paisley Girl Briefs 2 Pack

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

So if you have been paying attention to my Tuesday Cook Off blog post you know my family loves cinnamon!  Last week I was shopping at Wal-Mart and while I was in the checkout line I was reading the magazine covers when the Food Network Magazine caught my eye…homemade cinnamon rolls.   That looked absolutely delicious and I had to make them!  So I bought the issue and decided to make the cinnamon rolls on the weekend.  They were a BIG BIG hit.  Everyone just loved them and I can honestly say, they were easy to make.  The recipe does require the dough to rise three times but other than that…it’s a breeze.    Plus, you don’t even need your Kitchenaid.

Recipe from Food Network Magazine

Yields: 12 Rolls

Recipe for Basic Sweet Roll Dough
Ingredients1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for brushing
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)DirectionsWarm 1/2 cup water and the milk in a saucepan over low heat until a thermometer registers 100 degrees F to 110 degrees F. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the yeast on top, then sprinkle with a pinch of the sugar; set aside, undisturbed, until foamy, about 5 minutes.Whisk the melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the yeast mixture until combined. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, the remaining sugar, the salt and nutmeg. Make a well in the center, then add the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to make a thick and slightly sticky dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until soft and elastic, about 6 minutes. Shape into a ball.

Brush a large bowl with butter. Add the dough, turning to coat lightly with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough is doubled in size, about 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Turn the dough out of the bowl and knead briefly to release excess air; re-form into a ball and return to the bowl. Lightly butter a large piece of plastic wrap and lay it directly on the surface of the dough. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the Cinnamon Rolls: 

Ingredients
For the rolls:1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 batch Basic Sweet-Roll DoughFor the glaze:

1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Directions

Make the rolls: Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Whisk the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 10-by-18-inch rectangle. Spread the butter over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border on one of the long sides. Top with the cinnamon sugar. Brush the clean border with water. Tightly roll the dough into an 18-inch log, rolling toward the clean border; pinch the seam to seal.

Slip a long taut piece of thread or unflavored floss under the roll, about 1 1/2 inches from the end. Lift the ends of the thread and cross over the roll, pulling tightly to cut off a piece. Repeat, cutting every 1 1/2 inches, to make 12 rolls. Place the rolls in the prepared baking dish.

Cover the rolls loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour, 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the rolls and bake until they spring back when pressed, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan. (You can freeze the baked rolls for up to 2 weeks. Cool completely before freezing, then thaw, warm up and glaze before serving.)

Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, melted butter, milk, vanilla and salt in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the warm rolls.

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, at My Baby Pajamas.

Handstand Friday ~ Week Three

Handstand Friday ~ Week Three

Basically, it should be week four of Handstand Friday but we had a round of the flu hit our house and none of us were up for doing much of anything.   We are all better now and back to working out!  I definitely feel myself getting stronger with my handstand and can actually hold it for a little while.   I am still by the wall just because I wasn’t feeling good last week I didn’t want to rush myself back too fast.   I am doing the handstand about 3 or 4 times a day.  My husband has even joined in the challenge.  It’s so funny to see a 6′ 4″ guy trying to do a handstand 🙂  He said once he gets better he would let me post a picture.

How’s your #handstandfriday coming along?   We would love to hear about it!  Don’t let fear hold you back from trying something new.

Happy Friday!!

Tuesday Cook Off ~ 12 Inch Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Tuesday Cook Off ~ 12 Inch Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

In one month we celebrate three birthdays out of four in the house.   It’s a busy month!  The problem is making the birthday cake or cupcakes.   None of us like icing and it looks dumb to just write “Happy Birthday”  on a non iced cake.   So my oldest son decided we should do big cookies like you buy in the store.   Since my oldest son has food allergies and does better with homemade items, we decided to look for a good 12 inch cookie recipe.   By the way, this was not as easy as you would think but I think we found a winner.

After trying a couple of recipes, this was the winner.  My boys said it was better than the store bought cookie. YEA!

Recipe from Cookiemadness.net.

Recipe serves 10-16

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (11 1/4 oz)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt**
  • 8 oz unsalted butter (or use 4 oz butter and 1/2 cup shortening for 1 cup total)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 bag semi sweet regular or miniature size chocolate chips (2 cups)
  • 1 regular size bag (about 1.5 oz) plain M&M’s or, if you live in the UK, smarties
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300° F. Line a 12 inch round pizza pan with a circle of parchment or non-stick foil. Alternatively, you can make your own pizza pan by molding non-stick foil into a giant 12 inch circle.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda and salt together; set aside.
  3. Cream butter and both sugars by hand or with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. When well mixed, add flour mixture and stir until blended Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Put all the batter in the pan and press it into a circle. Stop the circle about 1 ½ to 2 inches from the rim. Press M&M’s decoratively into top.
  5. Bake on center rack for 32-35 minutes or until cookie is golden around edges and appears set.

I made this recipe without the M & M’s.   It was delicious!  In fact, my husband just asked me last night to make him one to bring to work for everyone 🙂  If you have a great 12 inch Sugar cookie recipe, please email me at linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Thanks!

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, at My Baby Pajamas.

Baseball String Bracelet

Baseball String Bracelet

Take me out to the ball game

Take me out with the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks
I don’t care if I never get back
Let me root, root, root
For the home team
If they don’t win it’s a shame
Aahh.
For it’s one,
Two,
Three strikes you’re out
At the old ball game

It’s that time of year…baseball season.   I just love baseball season and it’s not because my husband played Major League Baseball either.   It’s just something about baseball and summer.   Maybe because it’s the lazy days of summer and the kids aren’t in school.  I don’t know what it is but I love it!

It’s also little league baseball time around the country.  Now, here in Arizona we are finishing up our little league season because it’s just too hot to play in the summer.  My youngest son ends his season this week and we will have the year- end season party this weekend.   Since my husband is the manager, I wanted to do something special for the boys at the party.   My friend, Erin, posted a picture of these baseball string bracelets she made for her boys today.  I just knew I had to make them for the party.

Do you have a baseball fan in your house?  This would be a cute and fun gift for them.

Here is how to make the baseball string bracelets:  I made two today!

You will need a baseball (you get two bracelets from one ball), a Xacto knife, plus a scissors helps too.

First you will need to cut out the stitches all the way around the baseball.  Try to get your cuts as close to the stitches as possible without cutting them.  When you are all finished you can use the scissors to cut any uneven parts.  You will have to apply a fair amount of pressure, and maybe even go over each line twice to cut all the way through the leather.

Once you have cut all the way around the stitches you’ll need to remove the leather pieces.  The leather is stuck onto the ball inside with some adhesive, so it could take a little elbow grease to get it off.

Once you take both leather pieces off you’ll need to remove the strings.  They will still be in once piece and should be easy to pull off.

Here’s is what your baseball should look like at this point:

baseball string bracelet

You won’t need the ball or leather any more for this project.  Locate the point on the seam where the stitching begins/ends, this is where you should cut the remaining leather.  You will see the extra string at this point.   Be careful not to cut off the excess string, you’ll need every inch!

Find the middle of the seam and cut it in half.  Each piece should be around 8 inches long.  Begin unraveling the stitching at each end of the bracelet until you have about 4 inches of string unwound.  This should leave about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of leather sticking out.

Cut off the excess leather without cutting the strings.  You should now have two ends that have 4 inches of string and 5 inches of seam in the middle.

baseball String bracelet

The best closure I found for this bracelet is simply tying the two ends into a knot each time I wear it.  To do this you will need to braid each of the loose strings and secure with a knot.  The strings will be gummy in the beginning from the adhesive used to attach the leather to the ball, but this will go away after you wear the bracelet a few times.

You will notice the leather is formed into a circle; the leather will flatten out as you wear your bracelet.

Good luck!!

Who are you rooting for this summer?  It’s “Go Cubs” in this house 🙂

Random Thoughts of the Day

It’s that time again when my mind is racing with useless random thoughts.   Sometimes it can be so time consuming with all the thoughts running through my head.   It’s probably because I haven’t been able to run the last couple of days.   I have been under the weather with horrible sinus problems.   What are you thinking about right now?

1.   My youngest lost a tooth last night…while sleeping.  Who loses a tooth when they are sleeping?   Has this happened to any one else’s child?

2.   I now have a teenager that should help with chores, why is it that I am still the one putting out the trash all the time?

3.  Why does my dog get a sudden burst of energy right before we go to bed or/and are in bed.   It’s not like we don’t exercise him.   Does this happen to anyone else?

4.  Watching Modern Family while writing this blog.   I just love that show.  Did you know that the character Luke (Nolan Gould) graduated High School at age 13!

5.  What’s the going rate for a lost tooth?

6.  I love Instagram!!  A lot of my friends live all over the country.  We use Instagram to stay up to date on everything in our lives.

7.  Really can’t think because my head is pounding to bad!  I hate sinus infections 😦

What are your random thoughts?

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Avocado Salmon Cakes

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Avocado Salmon Cakes

As I was reading my March issue of Runner’s World magazine, I came across an awesome recipe.   At first I didn’t know if I would try it because it called for can pink salmon.   I usually like my salmon fresh.   Well, I was wrong!  This recipe was delicious.   Plus, it’s very easy to make with a lot of benefits.

Did you know that canned salmon is one of the richest sources of the omega 3 fast EPA and DHA.    These fats decrease heart-disease risk and improve bone strength, which may help runners (me) avoid stress fractures.  It’s also an excellent source of protein and vitamin D.

The Avocado Salmon Cakes are great as an appetizer or my husband and I love them as a light lunch on the weekend.  Whichever you choose, I promise if you like salmon you will not be disappointed.

Recipe from Runner’s World Magazine.

Yields 8 salmon cakes

Recipe:

Mix two 6-ounce cans pink salmon, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/3 cup milk, 1 shredded zucchini and 2 tsp. curry powder.  Stuff into 8 greased muffin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  While the cakes are cooking prepare the avocado sauce.

In a food processor, puree 1 avocado, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, juice of 1 lime, 1 tsp. wasabi and 1/4 tsp. salt  Serve salmon cakes with avocado sauce.   Delicious!

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, at My Baby Pajamas.

For the Love of my Pit Bull

Chance

In June of 2012 we lost our beloved pug, Hobbes.   He was 15 years old and lived a great life.  Being a dog family and having two boys who begged and begged for a new dog, my husband and I decided we would rescue a dog.   We did our research and have a friend who volunteers for a local dog rescue.   On a Friday night in September of 2012 we ended up adopting our 10-week-old pit bull mix.   His name is Chance and he is the sweetest dog in the world.

The idea of this post came about when I was talking to a neighbor the other day and they were unsure of the pit bull breed.  They said they were happy Chance was pit bull/lab mix.   And said they felt safer knowing he was only half pit bull.   This is when I realized that most people are uneducated about pit bulls and I wanted to fix this problem.

Pits bulls are a working dog and are great at agility, search-and-rescue, tracking, weight pulling, carting, Shutzhund, hunting, obedience, therapy, and more.  They are a very trainable dog and are eager to please their owner.   In fact, LawDogs USA, for example, opted to use pit bulls exclusively as drug detection dogs because they are so trainable.   Now does that sound like a terrible breed?

I don’t want to go on and on about myths and pit bulls.   Plus, I know pit bulls get a lot of bad press.   But it’s not bad dogs it’s BAD OWNERS!  I guess I just want everyone to keep an open mind about any animal and just make sure you do your homework before you buy or rescue a dog.

For the Love of My Pit Bull

About Me:

Hello and welcome! I am a 40 something year old mom of two boys, living in Scottsdale, AZ with my husband Al. I started My Baby Pajamas in 2007 and have watched it grow and mature. I love to blog but am not much of a writer per say. I am a avid runner and love to compete in races. I like my yoga HOT and love to hike with my family and our pit bull mix dog, Chance. My favorite time is hanging with my family and cooking homemade dinners and hearing about everyone's day while my husband and I enjoy a glass of wine.

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